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Smallholder Farmers Alliance Blog


Celebration of Trees in Haiti

Trees are part of seasonal holiday celebrations in many parts of the world, but in Haiti they are also being used by farmers to earn their way out of poverty. 

The country's current political turmoil may be in the limelight, but there is another story from Haiti worthy of headlines: thousands of small-scale farmers are using a new business model to help feed and reforest the nation.

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Driving the Seam of Hispaniola

A view near the Dominican town of Sabana Real, close to the Haitian border.
Photo Credit: Amadeo Escarramán for The New York Times.

Reprinted from New York Times, article by Julia Alvarez

I’ve never liked the idea of bucket-list travel. Why make another to-do list when faced with your own mortality?

But there is one trip I’ve wanted to make since so far back I can’t remember when I first became fascinated by the idea: traveling down the border that separates my home­land, the Dominican Republic, from its neighbor, Haiti, sharing the island of Hispaniola.

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Forget Kale. Try These Three REAL Superfoods

Drumstick herb or Moringa oleifera. Credit: Getty Images.

Reprinted from Time, article by Josh Schonwald.

They can purify water, feed a family of four for 50 years, and help combat climate change — and you've probably never heard of them.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a fan of kale. But kale is absolutely, positively not a superfood. 

A superfood is high in protein, low in fat, gluten-free, loaded with omega-3s, bursting with antioxidants and overflowing with folate, fiber and phytonutrients. But the vast majority of what gets called a superfood these days should be called “health food.” Yes, health food is a perfectly suitable descriptor for goji berries, pomegranates and chia seeds.

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UN Says Smallholder Farmers Key to Feeding the World

Reprinted from the Permaculture Research Institute, article by Nafeez Ahmed

Governments must shift subsidies and research funding from agro-industrial monoculture to small farmers using ‘agroecological’ methods, according to the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. And as Nafeez Ahmed notes, her call coincides with a new agroecology initiative within the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation.

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Ebola in Liberia Linked to Deforestation

A Liberian man pushes bread past a public safety mural. The country has the
largest remaining rainforest in west Africa. Photograph: A. Jallanzo/EPA

Reprinted from The Guardian by Mark Anderson

Norway to give Liberia $150m to fight illegal logging that may spread Ebola: Norway will give Liberia up to $150m (£92.1m) over the next six years to fund protective measures aimed at stamping out illegal logging in its agricultural sector, which some scientists believe may have contributed to the worst Ebola outbreak in history.

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Commercial Moringa Production Study in Haiti

“It is hard to rein in the use of superlatives when describing the benefits of the Moringa oleifera tree, long known to rural Haitians for its highly nutritious leaves eaten raw or added to soup,” said Hugh Locke, President of the Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA), when announcing a commercial Moringa production study in Haiti. “Rich in vitamins A, B, C, D and E, the leaves also contain unusually high levels of calcium, potassium and protein. In addition, the tree’s abundant bean seeds contain oil that has a range of applications.”

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The Future of Food

In an eight-month series on The Future of Food, National Geographic is exploring how we will feed two billion more people by 2050 without overwhelming the planet. Their extraordinary in-depth coverage represents a turning point in understanding the complex and interconnected issues around this global challenge.

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Climate change’s souring effects on Haiti crops

In September, Walmart will begin offering TOWO Supreme, made from Haiti-
grown coffee beans, at select Florida stores (coffee distributed by Kafe Pa Nou).

Reprinted from the Miami Herald by Jacqueline Charles.

Haiti’s coffee production, which is enjoying a sweet comeback, could be adversely affected by warmer temperatures and less rainfall in the future, a study released Thursday by Catholic Relief Services said.

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